Facebook has opened the doors of its FBX ad exchange to AOL's Advertising.com ad network, AOL announced in a blog post today, while one of ad land's biggest buyers of ad space -- Google -- is still waiting outside the velvet rope.
"We know that advertisers want to include Facebook inventory in their buys – we're seeing it on RFPs – so we're glad to be able to further meet their needs," said Ned Brody, CEO of AOL Networks, the new name for the Advertising.com Group.
AOL joins more than a dozen retargeters and demand-side platforms buying on Facebook's exchange, which lets advertisers bid in near real-time on ads alongside the right rail of Facebook pages. This inventory has been popular early on, both because of its low cost and because it lets advertisers tie the web-browsing history of a Facebook user outside of the social network with ads inside Facebook's wall.
The addition of AOL, as well as smaller players like Turn, Criteo, Mediamath and Appnexus, makes the exclusion of Google all the more glaring. It appears Facebook is opening up its exchange inventory to everyone but Google. The reason for the impasse isn't entirely clear. Facebook is close partners with Google rival Microsoft, and with the impending acquisition of Microsoft's ad server Atlas, Facebook will become a rival to Google in ad tech. But that doesn't explain why Facebook wouldn't want Google buying Facebook inventory like everyone else.
One holding company not thrilled is Publicis, which uses Google's Invite Media technology for much of its automated ad buying. Last year, the issue made its way to the top of both companies, with Publicis Maurice Levy discussing it with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Ad Age reported.